The health care reform act, called the Affordable Care Act, was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Many people are still wondering what this means for them. Here is a short guide to what you can expect because of this new change.-Many of the changes won’t occur until 2014, so you might not notice anything because of the health care reform act right away.-The new law aims to help individuals and small businesses, those who are most in need of health insurance help.-Small businesses will not be forced to provide health coverage, but they might be able to qualify for tax credits if they do. This is a great plus for those of us who have really wanted our companies to implement group health plans. Tell your HR department to look into those tax credits!-Your health insurance should begin to cover more, and you are more likely to get tax credits and subsidies, so in the long run it should be a better value for you.-Medicare benefits will stay the same, for the most part. Don’t listen to rumors that people will lose Medicare; they aren’t true.Will your premium go up because of the health care reform act?Predictions are that most people’s insurance premiums will not go up, but don’t count on this, because you may be part of the unlucky few. Predictions also show that people on group plans through their workplace probably won’t notice any changes. However, there should be a lot of people who actually see a decrease in their premiums, and, as I mentioned above, with the tax credits and subsidies now available to help pay, it should be easier than ever to afford health insurance.What is the biggest change because of the health care reform act?The biggest change for health care under the new policy is that everyone must have health insurance. That’s right…everyone. The only people who are exempt are those living well below the poverty line, and even they qualify for subsidies and other health care options.In order for health insurance companies to back Obama’s plan, he had to write this mandate in (that way, insurance companies will benefit by getting more business). To make sure you follow the rules and get insured, the IRS will keep tabs on you through a tax code (reported through your employer or health insurance company).Again, the IRS won’t start issuing penalties until 2014 under the health care reform act, but after that, penalties could be as high as thousands of dollars.